This weekend I watched the Amir Khan v Kell Brook fight. I’m not really a big boxing fan but I was strangely compelled to watch two fighters past their prime with nothing other than pride at stake just going at each other.
Khan was disposed of quite comfortably and made a mockery of my pre-fight bet, thinking it would be far closer and that the odds were quite generous on him.
That loss summed up a fairly miserable weekend and a more miserable run going back several weeks. I felt each punch landing on the Bolton born boxer’s jaw as if it was a losing bet hitting my bank balance…
He’s not everyone’s cup of tea but part of his appeal to many is his ability to look down and out but find a way with his heart and determination. Alas, that isn’t always enough and sometimes you have to concede defeat to a superior opponent.
Likewise, this weekend I am at a crossroads with my betting. Strategies that have worked well for a long time seem to have dried up completely or have become much harder to execute. Just as a boxer will find it a challenge to get back into contention in the middle of being hit with a barrage of punches, I find myself staggering and stumbling into the jaws of defeat.
The urge to smash my way out of it has to be constantly suppressed. The self-belief that the methods do work have to be constantly drilled in as a mantra, because the real world evidence is a bloodbath. A sea of red despite all my best efforts.
Betting full time is something of a sadistic occupation. In the long run, the hours you put in and the dedication you show to the craft do pay off. But they don’t always.
Unlike a job in the real world, clocking in and clocking out won’t always make a huge difference to your pay cheque. You could spend countless hours working away but ultimately doing the wrong thing.
The tales of people who’ve struck oil or gold by prospecting for years before hitting the jackpot are far fewer than those who’ve spent their time with a fruitless search with nothing to show for it.
Going back to the Khan fight, it was clear that Brook wanted it more. Khan you could argue was a little more complacent. He was a little more detached from it from the beginning and his other distractions such as his reality TV appearances probably meant he was a little disinterested in the fight.
Without this sadistic streak combined with a hunger for success, betting as an investment is doomed to failure. Any complacency is mercilessly taken advantage of by the markets, and you’ll soon find yourself knocked down and out of the contest.
Resilience is key in times like this. Amir was often mocked for his inability to take a punch in past fights. To his credit, he took quite a few blows this weekend and was still standing. But I need to be more like Homer Simpson. He was able to take so many punches that his opponents eventually fell over from exhaustion trying to knock him down.
I guess the point of this semi-pointless ramble is that the losing runs are where you’re truly tested and that’s where the mental battle needs to be won. It’s not a time to give up, but it might be time to have a short break, clear your head and reflect on what’s gone right and what’s gone wrong…
Then you have a decision to make. Do you carry on doing what you’re doing? Do you make some changes, or do you abandon it completely? Only time will tell, but I know one thing – glass chins don’t make for big wins.